Preliminary autopsy reports show that murdered Iowa college
student Mollie Tibbetts died of “multiple sharp force injuries,”
according to multiple reports.
The manner of death was homicide, according to the state medical
Tibbetts’ accused murderer, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 24-year-
old illegal immigrant from Mexico, is being held in lieu of $5
million cash-only bail in Poweshiek County Jail.
The ME released the following update through a statement on
Thursday, according to the Des Moines Register:
The Iowa State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy yesterday,
August 22, 2018, on the body confirmed to be Mollie Tibbetts,
and drew some preliminary conclusions.
The State Medical Examiner determined that the manner of death
was homicide resulting from multiple sharp force injuries.
Further examination may result in additional findings. Autopsy
reports are confidential under Iowa law, except for the cause
and manner of death. (Iowa Code § 22.7(4)(c)).
Cristhian Bahena Rivera has been charged in the Iowa District
Court for Poweshiek County with Murder in the First Degree. Iowa
courts have established rules limiting the release of
information regarding an individual who has been criminally
charged in a state court. The rules are designed to protect a
defendant’s interests in a fair trial that could be affected by
media attention to the facts in the case. Court proceedings are
open to the public, in almost all circumstances, and those
formal proceedings are the primary method for communicating
information about the case.
Given that criminal charges have been filed in state court, the
Division of Criminal Investigation does not intend to grant
individual interviews with members of the media, and will
conduct a limited number of press conferences while the case is
pending in the Iowa District Court.
It was also reported on Thursday that Rivera had a connection to
Tibbetts: he fathered a child with Tibbetts’ former schoolmate.
Tibbetts went missing on July 18; investigators believe Rivera
abducted her when he saw her out on a run that day. Her body was
only found on Tuesday, more than a month after her disappearance.